What We Loved About Lief Festival 2015

What We Loved About Lief Festival 2015

Lief Festival 2020

Lief Festival 2020

Utrecht, Niederlande

In a festival landscape where every electronic event tries to be the biggest and loudest, Lief Festival in Utrecht is a refreshing example of how sometimes it's not the size of the event, but how it's put together and who comes along for the fun.

Presenting five areas of techno, tech-house and deep-house, Lief Festival turns Recreatieplas Strijkviertal into an intimate but bold festival, where every space promises entertainment, from stages beside and on the lake, to bars and other surprises tucked between the trees.

With a lineup featuring Nic Fanciulli, Joris Voorn, Oliver Heldens and Quintino, here are five things we loved about Lief...

#1 It's hard to stop yourself from taking millions of stage pictures...

Playful and insanely colourful, the stages at Lief were a great site to dance in front of, with sound systems that could have easily carried bass across crowds twice the size. Again the intimacy of Lief contrasting with the larger than life site design and atmosphere made the festival feel like an exciting secret waiting to be discovered.

#2 The walk between stage to stage was a fun adventure in itself...

Football tables, ping pong, free chocolate milk, a mini silent disco van, and a hut with retro televisions with vintage games to play on beanbags. These are just a small example of the many activities nestled in between each stage.

Whether you wanted to take silly photobooth pictures or chill on comfy decking by the lake, making your way from stage to stage provided endless amounts of silly escapism.

#3 Brands and sponsors felt inclusive, not invasive...

Sometimes brands can make a festival feel lifelessly corporate with big BUY ME shouty banners hanging over a boring bar, however those who appeared at Lief added to the atmosphere in their own special ways.

From Pelican House Headphones holding a silent disco van to Jupiler's free hats flooding out their bar area, a special mention has to go to the Captain Morgan's beach area, whose rum-tastic pirates handed out hats and encouraged fun photos, along with a specially built wooden ship perfect for climbing onto and relaxing on, while the stage behind pumped out tune after tune.

#4 The food and drink choices were incredible, and little details around the site really counted...

From mussels to racks of ribs, writing about the food at Lief is making me hungry right now! The overall food and drink prices were very fair, with a beer costing a token, and food and special drinks ranging between 2 - 3 tokens.

As for the little details around the site, the amount of toilets were amazing, and of the little queues that were there, it also helped that there was an endless supply of toilet paper.

While weather was choppy, the mood was never dampened as there was plenty of locations to seek shelter when it rained, and a wealth of places to soak up the sun when it appeared. 

It was also ALWAYS really easy to find security or staff if you needed help or directions (which wasn't often as programmes with maps were free).

#5 The crowd didn't seem to be one fixed stereotype...

There are certain festivals that as soon as you say their name, you can visualise the stereotypes that are there from the fashionistas of Coachella to the gym heads of certain EDM festivals, but the main thing I liked about Lief was the pure diversity of people.

From fresh faced students to the hardcore elderly who the party never died for, Lief was a wonderful pick and mix of dedicated tech-heads, casual listeners, large groups of friends, small gatherings of mischief, people in costumes, best friends, men with silly t-shirts, women with awesome sunglasses and leggings, families where the eldest son or daughter were happy to party with mum, and couples snogging during euphoric build-ups.

I can honestly say I didn't have any problems with anyone as navigating from the front to the back of stages through busy crowds was breezy, and everyone just seemed super happy to be in each other's company.

With a massive fireworks finale from two stages to round the night off, it was great to be there to help Lief blow out the candles on their 10th birthday cake, and I don't doubt they will be blowing out ten more in the near future...


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